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Kelowna man sues North Okanagan-Shuswap school board after told to ‘play through’ brain injury

Simon Wiebe suffers from a traumatic brain injury from a 2017 football game in Salmon Arm

A Kelowna man has filed a lawsuit against the school board in Salmon Arm for a traumatic brain injury that was caused by being told to continue to play high school football despite serious injuries.

Simon Wiebe filed a personal injury lawsuit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against the Board of School Trustees of School District 83, which encompasses the North Okanagan-Shushwap region, on April 13.

Wiebe alleges that for nearly seven years he has suffered from the serious injuries to his head and neck that transpired after being knocked to the ground repeatedly and receiving hits, tackles and blows, in a particularly violent high school football game in 2017.

Before the game, Wiebe alleges that players were told that the opposing team was a “physically tough” team to play against. The students were allegedly instructed by staff and volunteers to “show strength and play through it.”

Despite the multiple injuries that he had suffered during the game, Wiebe alleges that the staff and volunteers continued to put him on the field for almost the entire game and failed to follow concussion protocol.

As a result of the traumatic brain injury and neck injury, Wiebe alleges that he suffers from pain, educational impairment, fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, lack of strength and coordination, difficulty with concentration, anxiety and depression, among other symptoms.

Wiebe alleges that he has suffered a loss of income and a diminished earning capacity and requires significant treatment for his injuries.

The lawsuit states that the actions of the staff and volunteers from School District 83 that were at the football game “were deliberate, high-handed, arrogant and were undertaken with a complete disregard of the Plaintiff’s rights and physical well-being and were intended to and did harm to the Plaintiff.”

Wiebe seeks general damages in the lawsuit.

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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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